Protect your meds from heatHeat can change the effectiveness of medications for people and their pets. People need to check the instructions about temperature and storage, says Jill Sailors, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
By: Harry Jackson Jr. , St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Heat can change the effectiveness of medications for people and their pets. People need to check the instructions about temperature and storage, says Jill Sailors, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
“Make sure that medications are kept away from direct sunlight at home and do not store medication in the bathroom where the temperature varies with bathing and showering. Also, make sure not to leave medications in your car,” Sailors said.
Ideally, medicine should be stored from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit unless it needs refrigeration, she said.
For people with diabetes, high temperatures can result in increased blood sugar and effect how refrigerated insulin works, she said.
“Even with a working refrigerator, insulin injections could have been affected by the heat, or they may not work as well because the body is under stress,” she said.
Some medications can increase dehydration and interfere with the body’s ability to cool itself, she said. People taking seizure medication, antihistamines, blood pressure medication, neurologic or psychiatric medication or even those with Parkinson’s disease need to drink more water and watch for signs of dehydration.
Sailors offered advice for people who don’t have air conditioning or are concerned about how heat may be affecting their medications:
- If your home is not air conditioned, put medicine next to a fan.
- If you notice an increase in side effects while on a medication, contact your pharmacist or doctor.
- If you are not sure about whether your medicine is still effective, contact your pharmacist or the manufacturer of the medication.
- Never store medicine in the trunk of a car, even for the short trip home from the pharmacy.